12-05-11 - Online Shopping In Full Swing?

We're deep in it now and being pulled in every direction. Welcome to the busiest time of the year for most people. The projections are indicating that online shopping sites will have a banner 4th quarter. We hope that holds true for you as well. There are a lot of things happening on the Yahoo! Store SEO front these days and just some of the things we are focusing on are:

Well, there is much more but I have to get back at it. If I don't post again before Christmas... here is wishing YOU and YOURS a very Happy Holiday!!

10-04-11 - Roll With The Big Dog Or Get Rolled Over

Google launched a new feature named Google Trusted Stores. Google launched it to help buyers shop with a little bit more ease and confidence in the retailers they are buying from online. I am sure this will be great for people that can qualify but if you are not one of them you may have a problem. After all, we are talking about Google here. Just ask all the web guys who lost their jobs after Panda.

We are going to be watching the progression of this roll-out as well as advising our clients to sign up now. We suggest you do the same. We know when to roll with the big dog and that's why we don't get rolled over 😉

08-25-11 - Google +1 Getting More Like "Like"?

“Clicking the +1 button is a great way to highlight content for others when they search on Google.,” says Google’s Vic Gundotra. “But sometimes you want to start a conversation right away—at least with certain groups of friends. So beginning today, we’re making it easy for Google+ users to share webpages with their circles, directly from the +1 button. Just +1 a page as usual and look for the new ‘Share on Google+’ option. From there you can comment, choose a circle and share.”

08-06-11 - Is August Heat Making eCommerce Hot?

Not much time to post these days as we have been particularly busy working with clients. The few sites that were impacted by Panda are starting to bounce back (as they should be) and business across the board appears to be picking up with few exceptions. Even as the DOW dove over 500 points, and stocks falling nearly 11 percent in two weeks, things don't appear to be looking too bad for e-retail as reported by Internet Retailer this week: "July increased 14% from the same month a year ago, according to the latest Spending Pulse report from MasterCard Advisors. July marks the ninth consecutive month that e-commerce has posted double-digit gains" Read the full article here.

I see this as good news even with the state of the economy and the current financial crisis. Time will tell but for now we are seeing a lot of key indicators that the fourth quarter should be a good one for our clients and eCommerce in general. We'll see you on the front lines.

06-15-11 - A lot going on in the world of SEO this week!

Bing, Google and Yahoo! have come together to provide a shared collection of schemas that webmasters can use at schema.org

Google Tests Dropping Site URL For Site Name. Actually, they test stuff like this all the time and most people wouldn't even notice. It is interesting to watch however and I often wonder how much thought and resources actually goes into these subtle changes. I visualize a whole team of Googlers along with panels of users, eye movement tracking software and staff psychologists pouring over all of the data. Or maybe it's just one person playing around while everyone else is out to lunch.

More Panda updates and "innocent" sites still feeling the impact. It seems we just can't get away from this cute cuddly little creature. After testing various things on different sites in response to these updates I have determined only one thing... it appears Google is now trying to feature less targeted pages at a wider variety of keywords. The current thinking is that anchor text variety and site focus are becoming more important than specific targeting of the same keyword or phrase over and over. What does that mean? As an SEO company, we have to be able to change with the changes but it should be noted that nothing is ever a far departure from the fundamentals we preach daily... have quality content, do things that make you stand out from the competition (in a good way) and stay away from short-term methods that may work for now but are sure to get you in trouble later.

Welcome to my world!

05-11-11 - Google Panda Update & A Furniture Store!

I came across this interesting recording from NPR news and radio about how the latest Google algorithm (Panda/Farmer) impacted an online furniture store. Thank goodness it wasn't our client but it does shed some light on how different sites were impacted and possibly for what reasons. One of the most interesting things about the broadcast in my opinion was a quote from Google's Matt Cutts regarding the type of web site they are attempting to return in their SERP's. He said, "Think about something like an Apple product, when you buy an Apple product you open it up, the box is beautiful, the packaging is beautiful, the entire experience is really wonderful".

So what exactly does that mean? For some it may require going back to the drawing board. For others it may mean you have been doing it right all along and ended up ok or maybe you just got lucky on this one. I think the problem for most however is that they really don't know what "doing it right" even means. Many people are quick to try that short-cut to success or venture into those so called "grey areas" looking to jump ahead of their competition. Be careful. As the tortoise said to the hare... "Don't brag about your lightning pace, for Slow and Steady won the race!"

On another interesting note I have noticed the larger "brands" appear to be the ones who are really benefiting from the Panda updates at least in a lot of the categories we work in. It's just an observation so far but it does beg the question of "what do we do about that?" The short answer is "more and better" but that's nothing new here.

03-30-11 - Uh Oh! Google adds a "Like" Button called "+1"!

Did you really think Google was going to let facebook top the social market? Not!

It's sure to get interesting from here but is this really something that is going to gain traction? I did some quick research and really liked the overview by Lance Ulanoff. Lance says:

    "The problem is, for all that Google Profiles have, it's really very little like Facebook. There's no sense of community or real social interaction. People can e-mail you through your profile (if you allow it), but the mail is not on display there. Conversations in Buzz are hidden under the buzz tab. There's nothing about what others in your network (those who are connected to you through your contacts in Gmail) are doing online. Google Profile isn't really ready to be a social platform.

    +1 does resemble Facebook's Likes in that they're a way of telling other people that you like the page, content or ad, but they don't aggregate in a way you can perceive, and your +1's are not actively shared with others in your network. If, on the other hand, a contact searches for something you've searched for before, they should see your +1 tag. What this little bug will mean to people in search results, though, is questionable" read the full article

You know Google is not sitting idly by and I am sure we can expect more from them as they attempt to emulate the success of the facebook social platform. I wonder what's coming next...

02-24-11 - Major Update to the Google Algorithm!

As most may know by now Google updated its algorithm on February 24th in an attempt to "clean up" their search results. They started removing the rankings of sites they consider "content farms". Of course they won't let us know exactly what a content farm is. To be fair Google did not actually say they were targeting "content farms." This is typical of Google updates. I sometimes believe that they are not even sure of some of the changes until they start getting feedback from the public.

According to Google this change affected about 12% of known search queries. 12% is actually a very significant percentage. Of course Google stated that "the outcome was widely positive", but they also admitted that there will inevitably be some collateral damage in a major update like this. Google has also stated that they are working to tweak and improve this change to restore lost rankings to some of the affected sites that aren't "content farms." Well that's good news for some I guess but for others like PRNewswire, eHow, Demand Media, Suite101, HubPages, Mahalo, EzineArticles and others, the Google Jury is still out for deliberation.

We've always stuck with the concept of unique, related, quality content. We're not big on the idea of "content farms" either and although we do utilize some of the ezines out there for back linking original content, the majority of sites that Google is targeting really did not bring much to the table in terms of useful information anyway in my opinion and just cluttered up the search results making it harder to get our "quality" client sites higher in the rankings. I'm not mentioning any names and I don't necessarily agree with some of the sites that have been negatively impacted by this recent update but I believe they are headed in the right direction.

Bottom line for us is how it may impact our client sites. We are still watching but don't anticipate much of an impact, if any, to our client sites. This can be attributed to our high standards and ethical techniques involving increasing our client rankings and traffic. The sites we work with are all credible and respected within their industries. Our job is to simply make more people aware of them.

01-24-11 - Did Google update PageRank?!

Apparently they did. This fact has been reported by several credible sources. It would be the first major update in almost a year. It sounds important and exciting so what should it mean to you? Absolutely nothing.

I receive a lot of questions about PageRank and no matter how many times I tell someone that they should not be overly concerned about what number their web site ranks in the "Toolbar", they still obsess about it. Toolbar PageRank is outdated and pretty much meaningless at this point in time. I will say it again for those of you who did not hear me... Toolbar PageRank is outdated and pretty much meaningless at this point in time. STOP worrying about it. Even Google doesn't want you paying attention to it and that's why they dropped it from webmaster tools back in Oct of 2009. It has no immediate impact on rankings. If that ever changes we will let you know.

01-18-11 - Why Should You Have A Presence on Facebook?

I am asked that question frequently lately. I have listed out some of the benefits of why on our social media marketing page. There is some good information there. The purpose of this entry however is simply to list some statistics that you may or may not be aware of. It pretty well sums up why you should create and maintain a Facebook Company Page.

  • More than 500 million active users! That's 500,000,000

  • 50% of active users log on to Facebook in any given day!
  • Users are extremely HIGH QUALITY because they're all registered and confirmed with active email addresses and phone numbers which means... They're REAL people.
  • Average user has 130 friends
  • People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook
  • Average user is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events
  • Average user creates 90 pieces of content each month
  • More than 30 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) shared each month.
  • There are more than 200 million active users currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices.
  • Facebook took in an estimated $1.86 billion in advertising revenue last year, according to eMarketer.

Any of this have your attention yet? It should. So my question is why do I see so many business pages with a handful of "Likes" and a few people "Following" on Twitter? We can help.

12-16-10 - Bing Likes "Likes"! - According to Bing "Starting today, if your search results include a specific link that has also been 'liked' by someone in your Facebook network the link will be highlighted as 'Liked' within Bing."

This is very interesting and I like how WebProNews sums it up by writing "This will be one clear advantage that Bing has over Google in terms of regular web search. Google has done a lot involving delivering social results, but Facebook data are THE social results that matter most - at least as long as Facebook is the dominant social site that it is today. With people constantly "liking" content all over the web, this can be a great indicator of relevance on a personalized level. It's going to catch your attention when you notice your friend appear in the search results."

So how do you get "likes"? Our clients know.

09-10-10 - Google Instant and Search Results. - What exactly is Google Instant? Simply put, Google Instant is a new search enhancement that shows results as you type. According to Google this translates into faster searches, smarter predictions and instant results.

We actually like the new search enhancement but there have been some voiced concerns over how it relates to actual search results and how much of an impact it could have on search engine optimization SEO. These types of changes are always a valid concern and being in the SEO business, we have to evaluate them.

So what does Google have to say about this topic?

Google clearly said that ranking stays the same with Google Instant, but it will change the way people search. It will affect their search behavior, and that is what search marketers are going to have to think about more than ever.

Additionally, the following question and answer can be found on the Google Instant FAQ:

    Q: Does this change impact the ranking of search results?

    A: No, this change does not impact the ranking of search results.

So there you have the official answer. Ranking will remain the same. We'll continue to watch and evaluate "search behavior" with great interest but for now we see no potential threat to actual rankings based on the Google response to this inquiry. Actually, we don't see much changing based on this version of Instant. Google's Keyword tools will start to reflect the new search volumes keywords are getting due to the change over to Instant, and we'll continue to optimize for those keywords as we always have.

08-25-10 - Bing & Yahoo! Search Results The Same? - So it may be new news to you but Yahoo! and Bing are now driven by the same search algorithm for natural or "organic" search results. Based on that fact you should see the same results on both Bing & Yahoo!. But are you? Probably not. At least not for now and quite possibly never.

Yahoo! has been telling us from the first mention of using Bing that even though they will be using the same search algorithm they will still control the user experience. This equates to different information being displayed across both search engine results and a need to track your position for your targeted keywords or phrases on both sites.

Bottom line... do not expect the rankings on Yahoo! to suddenly be the same on Bing for all of your terms. We are still seeing variations and our thinking is that there probably always will be.

05-30-10 - "Mayday" Algorithm Change - Google makes frequent updates to their algorithm these days but there is one recent one being dubbed the "Mayday" change which could be having a big impact on your ecommerce site. This is particularly true if your item pages don't have many inbound links or you are using a lot of duplicated copy. What's the reason for the change and is it permanent? Matt Cutts at Google was quoted as saying, "this is an algorithmic change in Google, looking for higher quality sites to surface for long tail queries. It went through vigorous testing and isn�t going to be rolled back." We take that as "to provide more relevant results" and "yes, it is permanent".

So what does this mean to you? What it means is that it is more important than ever to be sure you are in the best shape possible when your site is indexed and if you are not already doing so, you should be taking advantage of all the opportunities for additional traffic that are outside of Google. This will actually help you with your ranking on Google. Now I know for a fact that there are some of you who have gotten a little too comfortable thinking you have been around awhile now and going to be fine by simply doing what you have always been doing. Be careful with this strategy... things are changing constantly and today more than ever there is a hungry pack of wolves that either want to take your spot in the rankings or prevent you from getting a spot of your own. Quite frankly it's getting harder and harder for the average store owner to compete on that level without professional help. That's not a sales pitch anymore. It's reality.

05-06-10 - Google Changes In SERP's - Have you noticed the new options that are available to you with the redesigned Google SERP yet? Google, trailing behind Bing and Yahoo in this area, has given the ability to the user to help determine what results Google provides them. The end result? Different people may end up seeing different results for the same searches. What does this mean for SEO? Well, what it means is now that the options/filters are there, users are more likely to use them. Chris Crum of WebProNews is dead on when he said "It's going to come down to evaluating the different options for any given query that you wish to rank for, and focusing efforts upon those". As if we didn't have it hard enough...

It will only get interesting from here but the fundamentals of SEO will still be the same... keep your site fresh and optimized, have an abundance of relevant and unique content, place that content everywhere, talk about that content, make that content go viral, back link that content and then back link those back links and start all over again on the next keyword phrase all while making sure your customers are taken care of and your store is running smooth. Hhmmmm... you are starting to recognize the value of our service. Give us a call.

04-04-10 - Google & PuSH Technology -
Google "real-time" searches may be right around the corner. What does that mean to you? According to WebProNews "If PuSh is to be heavily utilized by the search engines, and you want your content indexed as quickly as possible, you're going to want to do what you can to build community trust and a solid reputation. One more reason to engage in meticulous online reputation management, put out great content, and engage with the community." These are all points we have "pushed" all along (get it?) but it is going to be more important than ever to get it right. Already your competition is trying to figure out what will work best and you don't want to be left behind. It's an interesting article with a video interview with Google's Matt Cutts and Brett Slatkin, one of the guys responsible for PuSH. Check it out here.

03-20-10 - PPC and what? - We receive a lot of calls regarding PPC and Adwords campaigns. We are going to start covering it in detail but for now I am going to simply define some basic terms:

  • PPC - The pay-per-click is the amount you pay each time a user clicks on your ad
  • PPA - Pay per Acquisition or Cost per sales
  • PPM - Pay per thousand impression
  • PPV - Pay per Visitor

More later but it's important that you have a clear understanding of what is what before I go on.

01-29-10 - Google & Social Networking -
Google is plugging results based on the individual's social circle into any given SERP. This is one of the many ways SEO is changing, and it would appear that any business looking to get some play in Google search, would do well to have as many connections established as possible, via various social networking sites and tools. We'll be working with clients in the weeks to come to ensure that you are taking advantage of any opportunities available to put yourself on top of your competitors. This could mean anything from routine tweets to interacting with fans on your business Facebook page.

01-20-10 - Google Page Rank -
We get asked all the time about Google Page Rank and how to increase it. For those that do not know what Page Rank is Wikipedia does a good job of explaining it here: Page Rank. I could go on for hours talking about PageRank but instead I am only going to leave you with the 2 most important facts as of Jan 2010...

1) The PageRank that is displayed in Google's toolbar is not the PageRank that is used in Google's ranking algorithm.

2) A site can have a PageRank of 1, 2 or 3 and still turn out top ten rankings consistently.

We've been telling people for some time now not to get hung up on PageRank and instead concentrate on offering high quality content and work on back linking. The cream will always float to the top. On October 14, 2009, Google employee Susan Moskwa confirmed that the company had removed PageRank from its Webmaster Tools section. Her post said in part, "We�ve been telling people for a long time that they shouldn�t focus on PageRank so much; many site owners seem to think it�s the most important metric for them to track, which is simply not true.". Hey, you heard it here first!

Bottom line... while there was a time when achieving a page rank of 7, 8 or 9 was an all-out objective, that time has come and gone. It's simply not that important right now so hopefully along with Susan Moskwa, we have put your mind at ease. Now let's get back to what is important... forum posts, bookmarking, viral marketing and optimized, high quality page content!

For Jan 2010 we're going to be watching the following Google topics with great interest, Google Caffeine, Google Real Time search, Google Personalized search results and Google Living Stories. For those of you that have not heard, the folks over at Google have been developing and testing a next-generation architecture for Google's web search which they call Google Caffeine. In their words, "It's the first step in a process that will let us push the envelope on size, indexing speed, accuracy, comprehensiveness and other dimensions". We've done some testing of our own and like what we see so far. Almost all of our clients have shown up consistently higher for terms relevant to their site. Even terms that have ranked well are doing better as Google is sifting out some of those worthless sites that have always had us scratching our heads thinking "how did they get there?" only to take a closer look to see that it was not a road to be followed. Expect to see Google start rolling out the "new" technology as soon as the first week in Jan 2010. First at a few data centers and then the rest as they revue and evaluate feedback. We'll stay on top of it and adjust our strategy as needed but we believe that this is where our hard work and good content will really pay off as Google gets even smarter and faster. There are a lot of nervous people out there right now anticipating this roll-out but we are not one of them. Why you ask? Well, as another SEO author and expert so elegantly put it...

    "For those sites that have been toiling away creating unique content consistently, applying relevant internal links and applying best practices, I suspect you will start to see significant increases in the range and volume of monthly referrers from Google as a result of the new crawler technology. Essentially, you have nothing to fear, it is the less diligent gray areas that are most likely the target and reason behind this revision in an attempt to reclaim the web from excessive amounts of spam."

More to come on other topics like Bing and Social Media Sites but Google is the one to watch for the moment.

12-24-09 - Wishing You And Yours A Happy & Safe Holiday? -
We're taking a few days off to be with friends and family and hope you all are able to do the same. If you have an emergency please call 800-741-1383 Ext:2 and leave a message. I will be notified by pager and will check my voice mail over the holiday season. Stay safe and be Merry!! - Jeff Fagan

10-22-09 - Tweeting & Facebooking with purpose? -
WebProNews just announced that Google and Microsoft have both inked deals with Twitter, and Microsoft has also inked one with Facebook to integrate Twitter and Facebook updates into Bing search results. Google will be adding tweets to search results.

As reported by WebProNews... "There is a good chance that Google will be making a similar deal with Facebook, but even if they don't, their deal with Twitter and Bing's deals with both make it all the more important for marketers to be found in real-time searches and Facebook/Twitter in general."

For the complete story and a link to a beta tool from Bing to see how well your tweets do click here

06-04-09 - New MSN Search Engine? -
Bing? Well, ok... we're not sure we would have went with that exact name but Bing is a new search engine from Microsoft. They're trying to optimize the search engine experience for everyday users. The story goes that they were unhappy with the state of search today, and feel that Google, Yahoo, and even their own MSN Live Search are not able to meet the needs of today's search engine user. The jury is still out but so far we have seen some very positive results. Bing also has some interesting webmaster tools similar to Google. We'll be contacting you to obtain your MSN Live ID so we can make sure we are taking advantage of them on your store. If you don't have one don't worry, we'll be including instructions on how to set one up.

03-29-09 - New Google SERP Features -
From WebProNews... Google recently announced 2 new improvements to Google Search. The first is an expanded list of related searches, and the second is the addition of longer search result descriptions.

The company says it's deploying a new technology that better understands associations and concepts related to searches.

Google says it's able to target more queries, more languages, and make suggestions more relevant to what users are looking for. We've heard Google talk about wanting to get better with intent-based search, and it looks like they're now doing something about it.

"Additionally, we're now offering refinements for longer queries something that's usually a challenging task," says a post on the Official Google Blog. The feature is available in 37 languages all around the world."

As for the longer snippets, users will see them when they search for longer queries (which users are using more of these days). They will display more text to show more of the keywords used in the query and how they are used on the page.

The longer snippets feature is not exactly delivering more relevant results than before, but it could go a long way toward helping users determine if results in fact are relevant by giving them more info to reach a conclusion.

If Google continues this intent-based search feature, then, longer queries would yield more relevant search results and filter-out irrelevant ones making it easier for users to find what they're looking for. Other than that, if intent-search based results would benefit more pages with relevant content to appear on the first 8 of the search results page for every query, it would make sense that pages with significant content rank higher than keyword stuffed pages. We'll continue to watch.

2009 - Another New Year! -
The Holidays are over and the economy is still in bad shape. We also have a new president that you may or may not think will help. Bottom line is things are tight all over but the news isn't all bad... we have been working hard to be able to get our clients through this recession. We have a new line-up of great services that we are incorporating into our program in addition to what we do now including, but not limited to, a web 2.0 Co-op which we have been putting together over the last 3 months, a syndicated blog network, a video submission system and a new linking program with the help of our Co-op and the recent addition of our in-house linking specialist who has been working hard behind the scenes in order to facilitate the launch of our newest features. We hope that 2009 will be a prosperous year for all of us and we are working hard on our side to ensure we are all around for 2010.

11-27-08 Happy Thanksgiving! Get Ready for Cyber Monday! -
The term Cyber Monday refers to the Monday immediately following Black Friday, the ceremonial kick-off of the holiday online shopping season in the United States between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas. Whereas Black Friday is associated with traditional brick-and-mortar stores, "Cyber Monday" symbolizes a busy day for online retailers. The premise was that consumers would return to their offices after the Black Friday weekend, making purchases online that they were not able to make in stores. Although that idea has not survived the test of time, Cyber Monday has evolved into a significant marketing event, sponsored by the National Retail Federation's Shop.org division, in which online retailers offer low prices and promotions.

10-15-08 New Employee! -
This week we welcome Debbie Porter to our Team. She has been hired to manage and work on various linking strategies involving our SEO client sites. She
comes to us with several years of experience in this arena and has already rolled up her sleeves to help out. As most of you already know, inbound links are an integral
part of our overall campaigns and the constant challenge is to add quality "naturally occurring" links over time. Link farming and paid links are frowned upon by Google and we always want to ensure we stay within their recommended guidelines. It's always better to have one quality link than 20 spammy links and Debbie will be working hard to find suitable places to add our sites.

07-26-08 Google PageRank Update? -
Users of the Google Toolbar will see updated PageRank values for
websites become available over the next few days.

Google's noteworthy engineer Matt Cutts stirred up the SEO world
with a little note on his blog. The always-sparkling discussion of
PageRank and its secret sauce got a nudge from Cutts with his

"I'm expecting that also in the next few days that we'll be
expiring some older penalties on websites," he said. "I figured
the SEO industry could use something to discuss, so I thought I'd
give people a heads-up about the toolbar PageRanks."

07-07-08 "Google All Over The Place??" - We've been noticing some crazy things with Google rankings lately and we're not alone. I was reading a post from pingpongpie.com today that really hit's the nail on the head.

    "I�ve noticed recently that Google�s rankings are particularly unstable. This has happened before. Previously the rankings went through a period of changing up to twenty times in a single day.

    Alas, this volatile period seems to have returned with even more fury. We�re seeing some of our sites on the first page and then another search shows them on page two or three. Never before have I managed to affect the rankings so dramatically by just pressing F5.

    I noticed a comment posted by Jeremy Luebke on Aaron Walls community forum:

    Forget a daily shuffle, I can hit search and get one SERP, and then hit the button again and get a different set of results. So I am seeing instant shuffling all day long.

    Here is another weird thing.

    When I talk about a SERP I mean from 1-1000 for each search with it being pages to 10 listings per page. I click search and get a set of SERPs. I click to go to the 2nd page and get a different set of SERPs. In other words, the 2nd page may contain results that where on the first page because the results shuffled between pages. Also results that should have been on the 2nd page are nowhere to be found because the SERP of the 2nd page actually ranks the site on the first page.

It should be noted that I have observed this type of thing before. It usually precedes a major change in the Google Algorithm. Let's hope it stabilizes soon. We'll keep you updated.

06-22-08 "Long Tail Searches" - It appears from Google Trends and other research that searchers are getting smarter at searching. Searchers are now much less likely to search for [cars] when looking to lease or buy a new car. Searchers are now much more likely to search for a more specific search, such as [lexus es 350]. The same applies to electronics. Instead of [digital cameras], searchers are now being more specific with [canon powershot camera] and so on. Searchers are searching less often on the short phrases, such as one or two work keywords and more often on longer phrases (long tail), such as three, four or five word keywords. This doesn't mean that short terms should not be targeted but it is a growing factor when writing content and particularly item descriptions. Take the extra minute and add those detailed descriptions.

05-23-08 No more customystores.com? -
After many months of deliberation and planning we are moving forward with our long term plan of transitioning to WebStoreSEO.com. There are many reasons for this change including Yahoo giving us grief about having "ystores" in our domain name on up to our desire to make a strategic change with a new focus on products and services that are geared more towards our clients success.

What does this change mean to you in the short term? Other than some color and email changes not too much. We are still the same people working hard every week to bring you the service and results you have grown accustomed to. What does this change mean to you in the long term? Greater ability for us to align ourselves with top companies in the industry and a continuous growth of products and services we can incorporate into the program.

04-30-08 Banner Ads... One reason they may not be working. -
A recent study shows that there is a category of people they call Natural Born Clickers. The study shows that a segment of the online population accounts for six percent of the online populace, and yet it is directly responsible for 50 percent of all ad clicks. This is a stunning number. What do we know about these superclickers? They tend to be young (mostly between the ages of 25 and 44) and poor (income less than $40,000). They have their own distinct behavioral pattern -- they tend to spend dramatically more time online than regular humans, and they are disproportionately more likely to visit auctions, gambling and career services sites. Read Entire Article

04-23-08 Why Emphasis on Google when performing SEO? -

Search Engine Statistics - Market Share according to 2008 March figures from Hitwise...

  1. Google has the largest market share of U.S. based web searches at 67%
    • 2008 February 66.44%
    • 2008 January 65.98%
    • 2007 December 65.98%
    • 2007 November 65.10%
    • 2007 October 64.49%
    • 2007 September 63.55%
    • 2006 October 60.94%
  2. Yahoo is second with a market share of 20%
    • 2008 February 20.59%
    • 2008 January 20.94%
    • 2007 December 20.88%
    • 2007 November 21.21%
    • 2007 October 21.65%
    • 2007 September 22.55%
    • 2006 October 22.34%
  3. MSN is third with a market share of 7%
    • 2008 February 6.95%
    • 2008 January 6.90%
    • 2007 December 7.04%
    • 2007 November 7.09%
    • 2007 October 7.42%
    • 2007 September 7.83%
    • 2006 October 10.72%
  4. Ask is fourth with a market share of 4%
    • 2008 February 4.16%
    • 2008 January 4.21%
    • 2007 December 4.14%
    • 2007 November 4.63%
    • 2007 October 4.76%
    • 2007 September 4.32%
    • 2006 October 4.34%

Any questions?

03-06-08 Keep your customers coming back! -
Retaining valued customers should always be a top priority. One of the best ways to keep them coming back is to reach out to them regularly through an e-mail newsletter. Letting them know just how valuable they are should be the first step of any customer-retention strategy.

Sending a monthly or quarterly e-mail newsletter is probably the easiest way to stay in touch with your customers. It is a great way to keep your clients abreast of the latest developments in your business, including sales, new product offerings, and seasonal deals. Including newsletter-only specials or coupons is a great way to generate interest in the newsletter, increase your subscriber list, and drum up sales.

Put yourself in your customers' shoes and try and determine what kinds of information would prove valuable to them. If your company sells collectibles, for instance, a survey of trends in the market would be a great way to get your subscribers to look forward to each issue of your newsletter.

02-01-08 Broadcast Yourself in 2008! - There are 2.4 billion videos viewed on YouTube each month, which helps this website become recognized as one of the top viral marketing hubs. The marketing reach, due to YouTube's success, is massive. It is everyone's first port of call when they want to search for online video. You stand to gain a lot by getting some exposure on YouTube.

What's working? Brand created entertainment content, User driven product advertising, Multi channel word of mouth campaigns.

What's popular? "How To" videos, informative videos, funny videos.

Have something you want to share? Let us know and we'll help you get it up there and put the word out! Don't have anything yet? Start looking at what is popular and then determine what you can do to implement the same concept within your industry. Need some help? Let us know.

01-26-08 YAHOO NOTICE - Effective 01/24/2008, security updates to the pro-forma script require merchants to use a new form tag, maintain a list of approved email recipients for form submissions, and host their confirmation (thankyou-URL) and continue (continue-URL) pages within their store domain. If forms do not use the approved format for pro-forma functionality, you may not receive submissions of these forms.

This means that if you are using the Yahoo form mailer on your site it may not work as of the above date. We never got word of this change from Yahoo directly so it's safe to assume you may not have either. Our own forms were not working and we are receiving a lot of calls from our regular clients and wanted to post the info here as well. If we have placed sign-up forms on your site for email lists, etc. we will make the change for you. If you have setup your own forms and did not receive the announcement you can find additional info here.

Happy New Year!!

01-01-08 What are we looking at for 2008? - US ad spending on social networks will climb to nearly $1.6 billion in 2008, from $920 million in 2007. Although targeted advertising is getting the lion's share of attention and will continue to be a hot button in 2008, other forms of social network marketing, such as search advertising, widgets and e-commerce, will draw increased marketer interest. Additionally, self-serve advertising systems will create a new market for local and small businesses to promote themselves via social networks.

Happy Holidays!!

12-09-07 Holiday Shopping Continues! - "While Cyber Monday may have been the heaviest online shopping day on record, we expect that a number of individual shopping days during the coming weeks will surpass the Cyber Monday total, with some days potentially surpassing $800 million," said comScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni, in a statement.

Online sales this year will be driven by the increased spending of existing online buyers. These �seasoned� online buyers have confidence in e-commerce, and they even shop with unfamiliar Web retailers to find unusual gifts. They also shop later into the season because they trust that e-tailers will meet delivery guarantees

eMarketer predicts that online holiday sales will reach $31 billion this season, up 18.5% over 2006. Although this is a drop-off from last year�s growth rate of 25%, it beats the low single-digit growth rate forecast for the overall retail industry this holiday season.

12-03-07 Cyber Monday Update - US online shoppers spent $733 million on the Monday after Thanksgiving, aka Cyber Monday, according to comScore data. comScore said that was up more than 20% over 2006, and 84% over the average daily online spending totals during the preceding four weeks.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

11-21-07 Holiday Shopping - Black Friday sales will account for 15.1% of total 2007 holiday revenue, according to BDO Seidman's "Retail Compass Survey." CMOs at US retailers said that online sales for Cyber Monday, the first Monday after Thanksgiving, will total 12.3% of Internet sales during the 2007 holiday season. Respondents also said that the final week before Christmas would account for more than one-fifth of holiday sales.

10-16-07 SEO TIP - As retailers shift to customer retention, we can expect to see e-mail becoming a bigger priority. One of the interesting findings in the Shop.org-Forrester Research 2007 State of Retailing Online Part 2 report, released in September, is that e-mails emphasizing new products outperform e-mails promoting sales. When is the last time you sent out a new product announcement?

10-03-07 SEO TIP - Sure, the search engines can send you traffic, but that doesn't mean that where you send them is going to close the sale. There are so many other factors that must come into play once you get the visitor to your site: the messaging on the landing page, the offer, the call(s)-to-action, the quality of the graphics, product pricing (especially when compared to other sites selling similar products), shipping & handling costs, etc. If you do your job too, search engine traffic will be much more likely to make you money.

09-21-07 SEO TIP - SEO is NOT a magic pill to trick the search engines, it takes time, dedication and a lot of hard work. Blackhat SEO techniques may move you up fast and get you some traffic in the short term but they are also guaranteed to get you blacklisted by the major search engines. That will drop your traffic down to nothing almost overnight and with not much recourse after that. Always do what is best for your end user and rankings, links, and traffic will all come. Be in it for the long term and success will surely follow.

08-31-07 PPC & Day-Parting: Did you know that Day-Parting is a Pay Per Click term which means limiting your PPC campaigns to only a few hours per day depending on the target-audience that you're trying to reach. You may find it worthwhile to have your PPC advertisements run only during morning hours, as opposed to the entire day. And vise versa for other markets and audiences.

The ultimate goal with day-parting is to decrease the amount of wasteful spending (times when clicks lead to little or no conversions) and re-focus that budget on times that are most valuable to you. You should review your website's stats (number of visitors, conversion data, etc.), and find out which hours of the day (or even days of the week) your visitors seem to click and convert most. Knowing this data will allow you to test those measures and limit your ad campaigns to only those time periods. Most PPC platforms offer some type of Day Parting program which makes it easier for you to set and monitor.

08-18-07 PPC & Click Fraud: We've always had mixed feeling about PPC advertising because of click fraud persisting in plaguing advertisers and the search advertising companies that sell ad space. High-profile lawsuits have happened as a result of businesspeople contending not enough is being done to keep their budgets from being tapped with illicit clicks. Our own experience makes us believe their complaints are not unwarranted and seeing Google's debut of the "Ad Traffic Quality Resource Center" wich closely follows the arrival of a similar service from Yahoo tells us there is something to it. That said, I've always maintained that you have to have at least a minimal presence in the PPC arena. But, did you know that Google and Overture are not the only game in town? We are adding a list of PPC Directories to the Writeboard section for you to look over. Remember... Return On Investment (ROI) is always the name of the game with PPC. DO NOT get caught up in bidding wars on high level keyword phrases. Sometimes the highly targeted but less searched words produce the best ROI.

08-11-07 Update: We are back up to 100% this week after some problems with our Internet Service. We have Fiber Optic Cable coming into the building which is a very good thing for anyone working on the Internet but those little flashes of light that are supposed to turn on and off were pretty much off most of the time until we got it worked out. A new location, some additional staff added, and back up to full speed means good things ahead!

08-06-07 Update: Weekly reporting has been delayed a few days this week due to a recent relocation of our office. The move was supposed to be seamless but we experienced some technical problems when bringing our system on-line. Work will progress as normal and reports should be up to date within 48hrs.

08-01-07 Update: For those of you not aware we have recently added a new team member. Her name is Chyrel Coffman. Chyrel has an extensive background and specializes in article and short novel writing and re-writing, editing, proofreading, historical writing and intensive research. She will be an invaluable asset for producing quality search engine optimized unique content. We welcome her aboard.

07-29-07 Update: We are in the beginning phase of launching and marketing a new shopping site. This will be yet another tool in our arsenal to direct traffic to your store from customers searching for your specific products or store as well as customers drawn in that may not have come across your site or products on their own. This site will contain your top 20 products to start but we anticipate adding more as the site evolves. It's not uncommon for someone to be looking for items like an accessory for their car and end up purchasing a toaster or bookmarking a site for future reference. We want to be that site! By becoming a well known and recognized source for high quality and credible stores we can get customers coming back again and again. Stay tuned for details.

Welcome... Projects don�t fail from a lack of charts, graphs, stats, or reports, they fail from a lack of clear communication. It�s WebStoreSEO.com solves this problem by providing tools tailored to improve the communication between people working together on a project and our clients.

SEO TIP - If you have an item that is a high traffic page and that item is discontinued DON"T DELETE IT! Simply add a link on that page leading to a comparable item. We see people remove high traffic pages all the time and then wonder why their customer visits are dropping off. It takes a long time for a page to move up in the rankings. Don't get rid of it now that's it's there!

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